SAN ANTONIO – Parents, students and faculty at Harlandale Independent School District’s Gilbert Elementary are on high alert after a student had a scary "stranger danger" encounter Monday afternoon. While a letter has gone out to warn parents, the suspect remains at large.
A letter from Gilbert Elementary went out to parents Tuesday warning after an older man in a royal blue SUV, possibly a Dodge Durango, tried to lure a child.
"When I leave [my son], I tell him, 'Don’t talk to strangers. If anything, run and tell somebody’," parent Rosa Guzman said.
That’s what most parents are telling their children as they are drop them off at school. "A gentleman stopped and offered the student some money to get in the vehicle," said Harlandale ISD public information officer Andrew Fernandez.
"It’s sad that you still have people that try to pick up little children in the area. I keep telling the kids, 'Don’t go with strangers',” said William Clark, another concerned parent.
"Scary because you don’t even know who it is. There's a lot of people who send their kids home by themselves,” said Guzman,
Fortunately, the student was able to safely run away implementing some of the some of the skills and tools he or she learned in while in school.
Harlandale ISD has a program called "RadKids" where they teach students like those at Gilbert Elementary a few self-defense techniques and what to do in situations involving strangers.
"The student came back to one of our counselors and let her know, ‘Something I learned in class, I used on Monday. I learned that you yell and run the opposite way,’” Fernandez said. “Our students are our No. 1 priority.”
The driver is described as an older man with light brown shoulder length hair. He was wearing a straw brimmed hat. Anyone with information is being asked to call Harlandale ISD police at 210-989-7233.